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Afghan President Hamid Karzai

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United States 17, Us 17, U.s. 15, West Virginia 8, America 6, Hamid Karzai 5, Virginia 4, Obama 4, Taliban 4, Karzai 3, New York 2, Washington 2, C-span 2, Georgetown University 2, Georgetown 2, Joe Biden 1, Al Qaeda 1, Nato 1, Ymca 1, Vance 1,
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  CSPAN    Afghan President Hamid Karzai    Series/Special. From Gaston  
   Hall at Georgetown University. New.  

    January 11, 2013
    5:30 - 7:00pm EST  

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conference again tonight 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. we're going to head over to georgetown in washington, where president karzai is speaking live. this is live coverage here on c-span. we're waiting for afghan president hamid karzai appearing here in georgetown. earlier we just showed some of the reporting from the press conference, president obama and the afghan president says they want to sleed up the moving afghan forces into the lead and u.s. troops shifting to a support role. there are 66,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan. the leaders also said that
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president obama agreed to place detainees under the afghan government. again, waiting for afghan president hamid karzai. georgetown university is also where the u.s. women's council is located.
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again, waiting here at georgetown university, we're live tonight waiting for hamid karzai. he met with president obama and they spoke at a press conference earlier today. we're going to bring you that press conference again tonight you can watch it here at 8:00
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p.m. eastern here on c-span. the two leaders have agreed to speed up slightly the move afghan forces into the lead in that country. the u.s. troops shifting to a support role, currently 66,000 troop u.s. troops in afghanistan. we're going to bring you inaugural information and coverage but back to president karzai, the president of afghanistan preparing to speak. [applause] >> good evening, everyone.
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welcome to our distished guests from all around the world, especially afghanistan, our faculty, students, colleagues and friends. the u.s. afghan women's council at georgetown dwruferte is so delighted to co-host tonight's event. this dynamic council a private partnership with members from abroad array of sectors who seek to advance the role of women and children in afghan society. they have invested heavily in the society in health, education, and leadership. our president is one of the co-chairs of the council. it is my great pleasure to introduce him this evening. he is a scholar, advocate, and a true friend of afghanistan.
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pls -- [applause] >> thank you very much for that introduction and your work as vice chair of the u.s. afghan women's council. i wish to thank the members from the delegation from afghanistan, u.s. afghan women's council and all of our guests from around the world for joining us this evening. it is a privilege to welcome back to georgetown the president of afghanistan hamid karzai. we look forward to hearing his remark on afghanistan beyond
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2014, a perspective on afghan-u.s. relations. 2014 will be an historic year for afghanistan as it will witness elections across the country and the end of u.s. and isaf combat operations. as president obama, secretary of state clinton and many of this room have emphasized this transition provides us with the opportunity for diplomatic and cultural relations between our peoples. at georgetown, we are proud to be a part of this critical work notably through the u.s.-afghan women's council. the council is a public private partnership that has been housed here at the university since 2008. it was founded in 2002 by president karzai and president bush in support of afghan women
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and children. it's focused its work of areas of education, health, economic empowerment, leadership development, and humanitarian assistance. since its founding the council has created call laarships, provided skills training, litteracy and health care, established a burn center to treat victims and provide reconstructive surgery and provide leadership training for afghan women. in recent years we have witnessed significant improvements of the lives of women and children throughout afghanistan. educational opportunities for all children, including girls have increased. improvements have been made in the area of maternal and child health with the maternal
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mortality rate drops to 460 today. many advancements have been realized with 90% of afghanistan cover bid the four main telecom providers. we wish to make sure these are sustained, built upon and expanded in the future and we recognize more must be done and we look forward to working with our partners in the public and private serkts to continue to see improvements in the lives of afghan women and children and the afghan people as a whole. as co-chair of the council i wish to invite each of you in this room to become involved in our common work. tonight, here our work
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continues. we have the opportunity to talk to the leader and hear his thoughts on the future of his country, his people, and afghan-u.s. relations. as the university and in tradition we believe in the power of discourse and dialogue to bring us to a greater understanding of one another, of our shared world, and our work together. we will look forward to the dialogue that tonight's program will inspire in the weeks and months ahead. ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to welcome to the podium the president of afghanistan hamid karzai. [applause]
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>> please. thank you very much. please. this is my second time in this lovely hall. the first time was quite a few years ago and when i was very popular in the u.s. the second time is more real time. this university is also the one that has honored me with an honorry doctrine and i thank you once again for that. it is hanging in my living room with expectation that my son one day will be studying here. so i keep telling him georgetown
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university. but ladies and gentlemen, the journey we began together in 2001, that is afghanistan and the united states. it was for a great cause. freeing civilians from terrorism and radicalism, little bitter rating afghanistan -- liberating afghanistan from an invasion and a rule by the taliban. the first one, in reverse order,
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the first one freeing afghanistan happened within a month and a half to two months. subbing squect of that afghanistan began its journey towards democracy, the rule of law, progress in all aspects of life. it went all right. it went reasonablely good under the circumstances. without a doubt with the help of the united states and our other allies around the world. the second part, freeing us all from terrorism and radicalism, didn't work as swiftly as we expected. there was bumps along the road
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and setbacks. now, the afghan people regardless where they stand recognize that afghanistan could not have made the progress that we have made in the past 10 years without the help we received from our allies. led by the united states of america. in more cruder terms the u.s. taxpayer's money. it contributed to afghanistan's upliftment.
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it contributed to the workplace, to society, to policy, the return of young girls to education. the return of universities, roads, communications, mobile phones, computers, all of that. [laughter] mobile phone wasn't a joke. i meant it. in 2001, we barely had telephones. my office was given a few walkie talkie that was our form of
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communication we had. today, the population of nearly 30 million has telephone available to 18 million. not one, two, or three companies but many more, four or five and they own them all. so the country has made progress. now, the war on terror has been costly. it has been costly to you in america, so many of your men and women in uniform has lost life. it has been costly to our allies. it also has been costly massively to the afghan people.
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we have lost in the past 10 years tens of thousands of civilians to violence. this year alone, i mean, last year this year has just begun, each month we lost 250 of our servicemen and women to terrorism and nearly 450 casualties in our villages each month. so the cost has been immense. therefore, there are complaints on both sides. it has been a difficult journey. a journey at which at times expectations are not met. when that doesn't happen both sides complain. i'm aware of the complaints in
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your media. you're aware of my complaints. but the journey continued, the relationship continued. afghanistan would always be better off in close contact and partnership with the united states. that is why last year will be convened afghan or the grand council, the afghan voted for partnership with the united states. they voted for a partnership with the united states and a sovereign country. and excepting that sovereignty will be respected by our allies. today, i'm glad to report to you, ladies and gentlemen, that
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asked, the afghans and the united states government agreed upon a format for expanding our relationship into the bilateral security agreement. by which, the united states will reduce its forces in afghanistan, will stay beyond 2014 in a limited number, in certain facilities in afghanistan and the united states will continue to train aassist afghanistan and afghanistan will be resfonl for its own security and protection of its own boards and all that comes with it. so is the future certainly good for us? does it have dangers on its way?
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are we certain to move forward? will this partnership work? yes. what you hear in segments or the various bodies informing you on events in afghanistan, the media . if i watched television in the united states or in europe and just judged afghanistan from that perspective it would be a disaster. i would lose all hope. but if i came from afghanistan with all the traffic jams there
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and all the pollution there now and tall phones ringing there, with all the television channels there, we all the hustle and bustle of life and the young people going to education, studying, working, and making life move forward. i would give you a different perspective. i would say afghanistan is definitely moving in the right direction. 2014 will be a good year for us. and the year after will be even better and this country will have its third presidential elections. in a year and few months i will be a retired president. there will be a new president elected by the afghan people. the economy will move further it has been growing at 8% to 9%.
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in 10 years from a mere $180 per capita we're looking at $600 to $700 million. today, we're talking -- i don't know if i should tell you that because other governments will hear me and not help us anymore. $7 billion in our reserves. more than 30 universities private and public. roads, electricity, the future holds clear and progress and prosperity but the standards of our region and afghanistan. now will afghanistan, 10 years
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from now be a very prosperous country? will they have resolved all the difficulties? will afghanistan be a super power? no. but afghanistan will be a country that will be moving forward. education will grow better. thousands of students will graduate in our own universities. thousands more will come from studies abroad who are now studying abroad. the democracy and institutions that democracy requires will grow, there will be more elections. there will be more institutional reform. there will be a better government but afghanistan will continue to face problems, there may be violence and there might
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be other challenges as we move forward but the speed of progress will move and will not stop. will afghanistan remember the united states as a country that helped or a country that did not help? definitely afghanistan will remember the united states as a country that helped. definitely afghanistan will remember that it was the u.s. assistance that brought so much to afghanistan. who will forget the less pleasant aspect ours relationship and we will move forward in the gratitude of the help that the united states has provided to afghanistan and also our other neighbors. but from today as we move
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forward will this relationship be a emotional as it was at time as you have heard in the past many years? will this relationship billion more mature? this relationship has already grown mature. we recognize the united states interest and afghanistan and the region and the united states recognizes that afghanistan is a good country country. and has a life of its own. it has a law of its own and has a social context of its own. in that social context afghanistan will move forward in partnership with america and also until partnership with the other countries of nato that have helped us in the past many years. will afghanistan, beyond 2014, be a country that you can visit
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as tourists? yes, it will. will afghanistan suffer the consequences of terrorism? it might on occasions. will the peace process work? it will. will the peace process take us back to times where the afghan woman could not go to work? no. will we keep our progress it is part of if peace process? yes. it is important today to get through this forum where the afghan woman council was created many years ago. if afghanistan will have peace but peace with the taliban will not drive us away from the gains that we have made.
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rather those gains will definitely be consolidated and those gains will remain with the afghan people. as i'm talking to you, afghanistan has a standing police of 350,000. afghanistan has a banking sector, afghanistan has a strong culture. you've all heard of pomegranates they come from afghanistan. you have heard of grapes. they come from afghanistan. the ones that come from afghanistan, i know you have them in california as well. [laughter] so, ladies and gentlemen, there is a country in afghanistan just like here in america just like the rest of the world. there is wedding and wedding halls, there is music, there is
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cars honking, there are donkey driven carts. there is society, there is life. this society is outthis societyd as any other. it is this that i would like you to remember when you think of afghanistan. a country of 5000 years of history, at least. a country that has produced thinkers, philosophers. a country like other countries, and i can tell you that the most recent suffering will be behind us. a new time is beginning, has
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already begun. with 2014 coming, your sons and daughters will no longer be burdened with protecting afghanistan. the sons and daughters will take the mantle and move forward. and plenty more can best be described by frost. the words are lovely, dark, and d. but i have promises to keep and miles to go before i sleep and miles to go before we sleep in afghanistan. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you for your inspiring remarks. we asked our georgetown community, and now that we have heard from you about your degree, what the first question should be that we ask you. and we asked facebook so we could get as broad a response as possible. i have the daunting job of choosing which and trying to frame this question. you know students are very frank, and in their responses, the students of georgetown including several afghan students expressed their concerns about corruption, security, women's rights, and economic opportunity.
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the first question i would like to put to you on behalf of all these students, what hope can you offer a young generation of afghan men and women? >> a great question. hope has already been offered in afghanistan. what we had in 2001, only a few thousand students going to school, and none of them girls. today, you have a million students going to school, 45% of them girls, and they are used
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well. out of a membership of 240, 70 of the parliament are women. that is already taken. when you have a country having thousands of bridges and roads, never did we build some money in 10 years, that opportunity is taken. the country today has students, politicians, business is moving forward and thriving. that hope is taken. the question should be, will this hopes persist in 2014 when international forces withdraw from afghanistan?
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when they will be on their own, will we continue with this vote? without a doubt. if i am lucky enough to stand before you here again 10 years ago, we will speak three times in numbers. that certainty is there, and i am absolutely sure it is going to be the case. >> that is very hopeful. in order to get a broad representation of questions, we asked student organizations to formulate questions for his excellency. the first organization out like to call is the international development club.
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>> good evening, mr. president, and thank you for being with us tonight. i am chair of the international relations club. close enough. my question to you on behalf of my organization is this. if from a security perspective, one of the greatest concerns is that al qaeda will rebound and afghan the stand will become a terrorist state. how can you mitigate without risking green on blue attacks? >> one of the reasons the united states will continue a presence in afghanistan after 2014 in certain facilities, it is
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because we have decided to gather to continue to fight against al qaeda. there will be no respite in that. we will continue to work, and they will not. they are decimated, largely, and on their way out. when i receive security, we have meetings on security issues and we never come across the question whether it is a threat. the fact that the fight will continue, and affiliates will continue. and part of the reason the
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united states will continue to have limited facilities will be to continue that task. it is also recognized by our neighbors. thank you. >> international relations club, thank you. i can get it right the second time. the next student organization we would invite is the student association. >> my name is thomas gibbons, i am the president of the student veterans association. if i have served to deployment in your country as the united states marines. what would you say to an american family that has lost a son or daughter in afghanistan, and what would you say they die for?
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>> that is a relevant question. the united states came to afghanistan, as i said, to defeat terrorism. after these of timber 11 attack. the united states came to afghanistan for the security of the united states. and also for afghans. that act -- those unfortunate incidents of the lives lost in afghanistan were for the safety and security of the united states. and also, by extension, for the rest of us in the international community. just like ththe sacrifice of the
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afghan people. thank you. >> the next organization we would like to thank for organizing this event and the events like this in the university will be the lecture finund. >> i'm a member of the lecture fund and a sophomore. in the new york times, taliban fighters that lay down arms are getting increasingly frustrated and returning to the taliban. they cite a high unemployment rate for the reason for their frustration. what will you do to combat this trend? >> the high peace council whose chairman is here with us, a fund
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is dedicated to this purpose. this is the reintegration program. they are driven back with society. if there are instances, and i am sure there are, it requires assistance sooner and we will definitely look at it. it is a very important question, thank you for reminding us. >> the last student organization we would invite is the muslim student association.
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>> good evening, mr. president. i am with the moslem student association. we understand education as a vital factor in the overall growth and future stability of afghanistan. educated citizens can drive change from within. what are your plans short-term and long-term to ensure that this progress that you mentioned of education continues to move forward? especially in regard to increased access of education for women. >> we did see a great deal of violence against schools in the initial years by the taliban. we succeeded against that. there are executions and --
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pakistan is going through a very difficult time. and other of events there, they are all a source of concern for us. i can speak with satisfaction, the suffering that we have had, our schools are safer in the past three years, the great majority of girls go to school in afghanistan do if in safety and security. we have not had any major incidents. and this concern for families and students would be less and less a matter to think of. thank you, sir.
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>> this will conclude the program. i have one important announcement before i thank our remarkable speaker. please do not leave your seat until you hear the voice in the wilderness that will this mess us. and only the afghan delegation will depart until such moment. on behalf of all of us, you have given us allot to think about. a lot of inspiration. women are lucky to have your support and we look forward to a wonderful future for your country. thank you so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> earlier today, he spoke with a joint press conference in the east room of the white house. they discussed the progress of the war, additional equipment for the afghan military and the withdrawal of u.s. troops. it will show the press conference tonight. opponents of the guantanamo bay prison discuss the 2012 defense bill that bars the transfer of detainee's from the detention center. it has been in operation for 11 years and originally established to hold terrorism suspects from afghanistan. he can watch set at 8:00 p.m. at
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the companion network, c-span to. >> people that describe themselves as libertarian, you might be getting between 10% and 15%. if you give people a battery of questions about different ideological things, and to track those to different ideologies, you get up to maybe 30% of americans. if you ask the following question, are you economically conservative and socially liberal, over half say that is what they are. just because people say these things doesn't mean they really believe them. if you ask most americans if they want smaller government, they say yes. but if you ask them to cut any particular item on the budget, they don't want to cut anything. so it is not clear if they
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really believe in it. i have to say, as low as 10% and as high as 30%. libertarians, if they were conscious and political, they could be a big movement and it could be a big group of people that could have a lot of influence in politics. for various reasons, they are not organized that way. >> on what you might not know, sunday night at 8:00. >> vice-president biden continued his meetings today following the shootings at a connecticut elementary school. he talked with representatives of the video-game industry. here are his comments after the meeting. >> let me begin by thanking you all for being here. i know you came along way and you have an awful lot on your
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plate. secondly, i want you to know what we have been doing. and maybe we can have a longer and larger conversation. as a consequence of what i think we would all agree, this consequence for the american people unlike anything i have seen or felt, we have been around a long time, there have been a number of tragedies that have occurred, national catastrophes. but i have never seen any thing that has shocked the country or the american people like six and seven year-old kids being riddled with bullets in a classroom neighborhood in an area that was considered to be
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immune to this kind of behavior and done everything that seemed able to be done to protect children in that school. and so, how the president asked me, because i spent some much time on these issues, relating particularly to fire arms, whether or not we would. and admittedly, it is quick end of the matter of less than a month, put together a set of proposals or directions that we could move the federal government and enhance the possibility, lessen the possibility that this will happen again. we know that is -- there is no silver bullet. there is no seat belt you can put on to ensure that we will
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not be in this circumstance again, but i ask the cabinet to come together, the attorney general, the board of education , health and human services. we know this is a complex problem and there is no single answer. and frankly, we don't even know if some of the things people think back then is what is going on. i want you to know that you have not been singled out for help. but we have asked a lot of people. i want to give you a sense of the meetings we have had so far. we met with the law enforcement community that has one perspective. there is a wide range, we don't always agree. anything from weapons to
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preventative action that can be taken. we met with the medical community, the american academy of family physicians. at the american academy of neurologists, more than a dozen. we met with at-risk groups, child advocacy communities from boys and girls clubs, the ymca, the after-school alliance. the domestic violence prevention community, they have various views with legal and justice organizations. civil rights organizations, participation in national service organizations from one
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club to the rotary club. youth groups, campus groups, peace groups. gun safety advocates from the brady group to the major gun safety organizations. the educators that are groping for answers, the mental health community including the american academy that we have been through, it is not an extensive study. but the literature that the staff has been working. much of what we already had, trying to devour. the most interesting meeting is with an interfaith group.
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not only the traditional mainstream protestant churches, the catholic council of bishops, but evangelicals. they are reluctant to engage in is because it is may be an attack on a cultural thing related to gun ownership and the like. all these groups with the muslim community, the hindu community, etc.. it was really a fascinating discussion. and then we matt with sportsmen groups that is distinct from but do not disagree with the gun owner groups. they have a different
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perspective that includes the blue water strategies, the outdoor industries. with a gun owners and the marines and troops, headed by a retired major general to fire arms and export roundtable. the independent firearms owners. there is a difference among them as well. we also met with retailers because of background checks and the like. they sell an awful lot of weapons. we met with colleagues in hollywood yesterday. the entertainment industry, as
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it relates to film and broadcasting. we will be meeting with technology experts. a lot could change, if every gun purchase could be fired by the person that purchased it. we would be unable to be fired. if that were available on every weapon sold, there is significant evidence that it may very well have curtailed what would have happened in connecticut. the young man had access to his mother's arsenal. i remember meeting with social education, and you in the video gaming industry.
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i come to this meeting with no judgment. you all know the judgments other people have made. we had a very productive meeting yesterday with the broadcast and film industries that have very constructive ideas as to how they can help. assessing the impact, if any, on behavior of certain behaviors. we are anxious to see if there is anything you can suggest to us that would hope to manage the possibility -- if we can only
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save one kid's life because of the consequence. we have a problem beyond the massacre is. columbine, conn., 10,000 people a year gunned down in our cities. a different motives, reasons, explanations. it is a real problem. one of the things that i know of no way to gather empirical data on and you all may, make an analogy to when we first started dealing with the issue of crack cocain in the early 80's, coming from the bahamas. although i was senior, i was not
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equal the daniel patrick moynihan that was a great mind. the front page of the newspaper. one of the mafia bosses was gunned down in a barber chair and riddled with machine gun fire. it made the front page of every newspaper in america. the referenced a story where an entire family were murdered execution-style. it made page 57 in the new york times. there is no measure that i am
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aware of to determine whether or not there is a coursing of our courts are -- culture. i do not know the answer to that question and i do not know what impact it would have. i wanted to tell you what we are about. at the end result is that i would be making a recommendation as a consequence of long, drawn-out hearings. there is an awful lot of research that has been lying around over the past 10 years with recommendations on having a federal weapons trafficking statute universal background checks for making more widely available mental health assistance. i would be submitting to the
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president on how to proceed. we get it done by then. i just wanted to fill you guys and on what it is. we had a very straightforward and productive meeting. >> in 10 days, joe biden will be sworn in for a second term as vice president. you can see the swearing in at noon eastern on c-span. we'll also show you the luncheon in the u.s. capitol and the afternoon parade at pennsylvania avenue. earlier today, president obama held a joint press conference with afghanistan's president.
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that was in the east room of the white house, assessing the progress of the war. we will show their press conference again tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. tomorrow morning, two different perspectives on climate change and a recent national oceanic and atmospheric administration report. our guest is from the national resources defense council and from the competitive enterprise institute. we will talk about senators investigating cia sources and their role in the movie zero dark thirty. and the food administration safety rules. earlier today, west virginia senator jay rockefeller
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announced he will not seek reelection next year. he talked about his public service from west virginia and why now is the time to retire. senator rockefeller was first elected in 1984 and he is on the commerce, science, and transportation committees. >> thank you, sharon. so incredibly much. a perfect life, by far the most popular rockefeller and west virginia. -- wife, by far, the most popular rockefeller in west virginia. i will get right to them. i have decided not to run again at the conclusion of this term.
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not now, but in 2014. i hope each of you can understand that this is an entirely personal decision. it is not a political decision and it is not easy. as i approached 50 years of nonstop public service, precluding time with the children and sharon. i consider the ways for travel in life. there are many other ways, and i
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know deep within me that in 2014, it is the right time for me to recalibrate and find a new balance. i came as an untrained social worker back in 1964. i actually begun my public service for years before that, working for the peace corps and the department of state. frankly, i was in search of a clear and powerful purpose. i wanted something that was so compelling and obsessive that it would fill me out completely.
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i did not necessarily wanted to be complicated, but i wanted it to be hard. and living in west virginia, you gave me what i wanted most. it is strong today and 10 years ago. i found my calling. it was here. it is so incredibly hard- working, never shy away from physical tasks or of the old battle. like the proud work of a coal miner with a mind for a better future.
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that is what i found real peop. real people, skeptical of me for a long time. and truly giving. they gave me more than i ever could have given them. every day and every minute cents. since. west virginia has my home and the people of west virginia has been my life's work. it deserves nothing less than everything you have to bring to bear, and that is what i have given it. i have been driven to make life better for people.
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it is not a slogan for me. it is the truth. there is a tremendous amount of greatness in west virginia. for 50 years, 30 in the senate, what ever could make a difference for our state and our people. i thought that the heaviest burden for those that have forgotten, there are many, that deserve better. every child deserves a fair shot in life. 15 years ago, i wrote the children's health insurance program. last year alone, it meant 40,000
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children in west virginia and 8 million nationwide were able to see a doctor when they needed to that otherwise they would not have been able to. i also wrote the program that is providing connectivity in classrooms so that there can be a hookup to the internet. this is back in 1996. back then, 14% of our classrooms, and now it is 92%. it has been a world -- [applause] a world of difference for opportunities and curiosity that our children and families have.
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i pushed hard to establish a bedrock of financial support, not only for the middle class, but also for the working poor of this day in this country. i am on the finance committee. i can do that. i work to expand the earned income tax credit which is one of the great givers of money to families that need it. and to defend college location credits so that hundreds of thousands have a fighting chance to make ends meet and to get ahead. there is no substitute for a good job. so i did everything in my power,
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as you know, to bring toyota to west virginia. with 1200 workers and a total investment of $1.3 billion, it is the second-largest investment in our state's history. [applause] 20 other japanese companies followed. because of our incredible work force and because i never stop asking for more. that is what you do. you keep pushing, asking, hoping. you don't always get a yes, but you certainly don't get one if you don't fight for it. i pushed to make coal mining safer. in one of the peak moments of my career, i threatens to keep the senate over christmas, looking
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at me in total shock. i meant it to keep them over christmas if it did not pass the cola act. -- the coal act. [applause] i simply would not abide the injustice of an industry going back on the promise of lifetime health care for its retirees. something that really goes all the way back to a deal that john lewis and harry truman made in 1946. the united mine workers and i insisted on a new law that we called the colal act protecting 200,000 miners and their families today. we actually helped avert a nationwide coal strike in 1994.
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in that fight, and so many others, we have been proud to stand with the working men and women of america. steelworkers, teachers, nurses, and everyone deserves a fair wage and a safe place to work with a basic health care. [applause] our country cannot be as great as it should be unless our workers voices are heard and respected. not only by everybody in general, but certainly policymakers. i am just a single-minded about comprehensive health-care reform. i know is not particularly popular in west virginia, but it's ok. because of my fingerprints are all over it, i know is good and i know it will benefit west virginia more than any other state.
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it is so incredibly complex, not just the 17% of gdp has people like to say, but it is so complex and involved and interests of people, nuances that we just had to do something about it. everybody talked about it, nobody had done anything about it. i worked with the pepper commission is for two years, we rode a perfect long-term care policy and acute care policy and it was dead on arrival. i worked hard for the clinton health care bill, and it did not make it. this one came along, and i was determined to help make it happen. for the simple reason that should be a right and not a privilege.
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the affordable health care act is the way the 32 million americans in more than 300,000 of west virginians will be able to afford health insurance, truth, honesty, and we did not have the money to do it all, by the way. and so some of those folks won't get it until 2019. but they will get it. for the first time. and i sit back and i think of all the fights and the anger and the amendments that came out and went down. i am just so proud that we saw it through to the end. the insurance companies do not like it. which makes me very proud. because they're going to have to stop dumping people when they
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get sick. it is interesting in congress because you really have your fingers on information. always from a staff. and they just did that. somebody had been playing all their lives. they get some kind of disease and then they have been cut off. and who is to know? who is to care? we went after that with a lot of hearings in the congress committee at changed completely when the bill. you remember the public auction that was so popular and still is. the problem was not the public op5ion, we just could not get any votes. -- option, we just could not get
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any votes. do you walk away from that? no. you look for a new vehicle and it turned out to be the medical loss ratio. i love it not just for what it does but because nobody has any idea what it is so they can't attack it frontally unless they know something about it. insurance companies will have to stop dumping people when they get sick and stop spending more on vance the offices that medical care. because we say that they have to spend either 85% or 80% depending on their size of their premium money on health care. that health care gets measured and analyzed by hhs and other
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groups. if they fall short and spend more than the 15% or 20%, they have to pay a rebate to the premium payers. millions of dollars have come to west virginians and more than that across the country in rebates. imagine getting a rebate from an insurance company. that protect people from financial ruin. finally, it is law. [applause] just like the act that companies took to every single court available. but when the supreme court ruled that they were wrong and we were right, so to speak. that was that.
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the same thing happened on health care. everybody fighting every way that they know to chip away at the edges. the supreme court gets a hold of it and happily sustains it. and so is there, forever. i could go all day, probably your worst fear, about helping veterans and seniors living in dignity. after 9/11, it was an extraordinary experience to invest in science, technology, aviation, infrastructure. we put $50 million into the airport. i don't think many people know that, but i am telling you that. making its larger and safer. i can talk about the exhilarating fights as chairman of the committee to make our cause more efficient, and the
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internet more safe. the internet is a large and a looming problem and has everything to do with cyber security, something we seem not to be able to address in congress. we are leveraging the best in government to help people and solve problems, always keeping at the forefront. that is what we will do in the next two years in the senate. we have the debt ceiling coming up, and i want to be part of that fight. i will pour myself into it because there always is so much importance to be put into it. i have every intention of keeping up this intensity.
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this is a no-holds-barred approach that i will continue to have to solve problems that affect people's lives. i will never stop working for the people that meant so much to me. and there is another great passion in my life, certainly right here. in front of me. including valerie, that has the flu. don't talk to her too much. sharon and our family have not had enough of me. maybe they don't feel that way, but i do. it is time, pretty soon, for me
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to do public service in new ways and for sharon and our family to be my first priority. that is the way it is got mr. -- for me. i will close with heartfelt gratitude for you coming here today, gone in so many different ways over the years. to my family whose support is unparalleled in his encouragement is felt. to the advisers i could have ever imagined, so many of you out there that changed schedules to get here for this day, it honors me greatly. to my brilliant and compassionate staff.
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and they are endlessly dedicated to our state and people in need. we are a family of common interest and nothing stops us. i want so much to tell you about each one of the staff, person by person. i can't do that, but i really want to. to the west virginians that took me in, transformed me, and supported me, whose home is and always will be mine, i will always be proud to fight for no matter what the cost. thank you. [applause]
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>> earlier today, president obama held a joint press conference with afghanistan's president. they discussed the progress of the war, additional equipment for the afghan military and the withdrawal of u.s. troops at the end of the year. we will show the press conference tonight. and opponents of the guantanamo bay prison discuss the 2012 defense bill that bars the transfer of detainee's from the detention center. it has been in operation for 11 years and was established how the cult terrorism suspects in afghanistan. you can watch it at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span [applause] -- c-span 2. the discussion is about 25 minutes.
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>> i will have to focus on a chinese proverb, one i have not seen before. thank you very much for coming out tonight. i will thank the standing committee and all the work she does. i want to thank all of you for getting up early. i will spend a few minutes this morning talking about the goal of the national security lawyer. and the unique position that the division occupies in that regard. and also about some of the emerging issues we are facing and focusing on. we will have a few minutes for some questions and we will see who has had their coffee this morning.
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those of you that have been in washington for a while will recall a time before the justice department had a national security division. the organization i have the privilege to lead was the first new litigating division in almost 50 years. before 2006 when the national security division was created, the counter-terrorism and counter espionage prosecutors were housed in different parts of the department of justice. there was no single unified national security development with an the council. like so much else, it changed after 9/11. we integrated national security elements and recognizing
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synthesis and integration were key to connecting the dots. congress also created the director of national intelligence, and the national security elements of the fbi were merged into the national security branch. these efforts were born of the need to institutionalize and facilitate information sharing, to bridge a gap that existed between intelligence and law- enforcement capabilities. on the heels of this change, it became evident that another service was in pretty high demand. it is what the commission called a thoughtful, innovative, and constructive legal guidance. following recommendations from the commission and others, the national security division was created in the department of justice to ensure unity of
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purpose among intelligence lawyers and the community on one hand with law-enforcement and prosecutors on the other. the division functions really reflect a removal of legal, structural, and cultural barriers. they have brought the department's national security elements under one roof and into closer alignment with those of the fbi and the rest of the national security community. as these lawyers work as terrorism and espionage prosecutors, they work as intelligence lawyers and provide guidance on cutting edge legal and policy questions to ensure the intelligence community has the tools it needs to perform its vital mission. and to do so consistent with the rule of law.
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above all, our goal is to serve as a practical problem solvers on operational, legal, and policy questions we confront alongside our partners. and our goal is to keep pace with an evolving threats. i think it is interesting to think that the idea that lawyers could be a positive and innovative force multiplier for the national security community, it might be a novel concept to those that you lawyers as a necessary evil. but of course, lawyers have always played it development in the national security system. it was wild bill donovan, and the father of intelligence that headed the oss. there was also another new york
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lawyer that was often attributed with having shut down the intelligence unit after world war one. they were on both sides, multiple sides of the national security community. since the days of wild bill, the number and the promise of questions to the national security rome has grown significantly. it is kind of an important question that arises. what role should it play closer to home? the answer to those the answer starts with integration. the lawyers who are focused on the mission they serve will be more focused on their jobs. there will be better versed in the